Mona Lisa Smile


Starring: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Stiles.  Rating: 12A




Julia Roberts is Katherine Watson, a ‘liberal’ minded teacher in the 50s who attempts to enlighten the inhabitants of a girls college where the students study while just waiting to become wives and mothers. Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal make decent work of their feisty characters but they are really the only exciting remnant in the mind of the viewer after the film ends. To my mind, there isn’t really a point to this story. It’s easy enough viewing but if you’re not careful you might fall asleep. I suppose the point is girl power, but we have had so much of that over these recent years the motive for the movie has really lost its grounding. All there is to go on to keep you awake is some of the more interestingly designed and played characters like Professor Dunbar, (Dominic West), the sort-of love interest for Roberts. All in all, I wouldn’t watch it again and would only recommend it only as one of those girly last-ditch options when no one can agree to see anything else.


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